Importance of Translation and Interpreter Services on Business Trips

Importance of Translation and Interpreter Services on Business Trips

Business trips require a lot of smooth talking and networking. When you don’t speak the local language, getting through a sales pitch can be a bit of a bother.

There are many reasons to use translation and interpreter services for personal reasons. When you add a business element to it, then a lot more care is required from all parties involved.

Emergencies Happen Unexpectantly

In a foreign country, when an accident happens and you need to dial emergency services, interpreter services can help. This is important when it is a time-sensitive emergency like an accident, theft, or a crime in progress. The more time you take to make sense of the language, the worse the situation gets.

Imagine being in the middle of a meeting and witnessing a stroke. When you call into emergency services, there is no guarantee that they will default to your language of origin.

An interpretation of the local language would allow for a quicker rescue, with life-saving information going back and forth between the caller. Without on the fly translation, there is no telling what will happen until help arrives.

You’re Not The Only One That Needs Help

There are plenty of people that will tell you they took a language in high school. That doesn’t make them fluent, and by adulthood, the majority have forgotten a large chunk of the language. Sometimes we don’t take this into account when speaking to locals in their mother tongue.

Interpreter services prevent businessmen from butchering the language of a potential client. There is nothing more embarrassing than having a back and forth with a client that can barely make out your bad language skills. Slang is the biggest problem, and there is a chance using it wrong will cause mass confusion.

In short, leave interpretation in the hands of the professionals. Your current and future clients will be eternally grateful!

Upset businesswoman dealing with business problems

A Mix Up Can Cost The Company A Client

Translation services handle verbal and written languages. Getting an agreement wrong in print is disastrous for a company. It’s doubtful that many companies will go on verbal agreements in place of written legalese, so paper trails are important. Not understanding the deal you’re signing for yourself or on behalf of a company will cost everyone money.

The confusion from legal documents not properly translated is still an ongoing business problem worldwide. A single sentence can change the meaning of any important document, so think about how vital it is for every word to be translated properly.

Better to air on the side of caution with 100% fluency than take a chance with bad wording. Besides, a mistake on paper may not always be reversible after the signature.

Heated Discussions Don’t Wait For Answers

Have you ever been in a bad conversation that continued to go south? Imagine having that conversation in your native tongue. No matter what you say, it continues to get worse. There are no words that come out of your mouth that seem to right the ship.

Now imagine being in a professional setting trying to please multiple business partners. Once the disagreements and arguments start, you need to defuse the situation with intellect. How is that possible when you’re not fluent in the language? By the time you find the words, the deal is all but blown.

A translator can give you the ammo you need to back up your words in any setting. Instead of trying to figure out the language, your job remains trying to figure out the situation.

Sometimes It Is Mandatory

Some businesses require that interpretation and translation services are used. There are many obvious reasons for this, but it all comes down to accountability. Even something as small as insurance can come back to bite you in another country. And in a case where your business doesn’t make it mandatory, others will.

When you’re setting up a business meeting with a potential partner, it is better to have your own translation services in place instead of depending on theirs. Not only does it look more professional, but why should a future partner pay for their own translators?

Show initiative and respect by understanding the position you are in as a visitor in another country. This small token of gratitude could be the final key in securing a business partner for life.

Working with an international client

Cultural Sensitivities Are Watched Closely

Making a cultural mistake can get you fired. This is serious business- bad optics travel far and fast in the current social media climate. An honest mistake can turn into something extreme when that mistake crosses language barriers.

But it is not just about the verbiage in some cases.

Interpreter services can sometimes provide valuable information about the area. Little things like not walking into someone’s home with your shoes on can become a valuable tip. Even if you are somewhat fluent in a language, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t insult the locals with inappropriate behaviour.

To keep from making something small a big deal, never allow it to happen. This is possible with the help of a translator to watch your back.

How Will You Handle Technology?

Even third world countries have a handle on the basics of technology. It’s a common problem to not be able to operate the television in the hotel room of another country.

Now imagine trying to set up a small presentation in another country, and you have a nightmare scenario. Being able to quickly solve technical problems is only possible by not having to fuss about with a language you’re not fluent in.

Translations are quick, so the flow of information can change a ten-minute problem into a thirty-second problem. When it comes to language translation, the biggest pro is saving time for everyone involved.

Technical issues on their own are a pain, so don’t add a language barrier on top of it.

When Transportation Has Its Own Rules

It may seem like a little thing if you’re not driving, but getting around in another country is always different. Whether it is different sides of the road, signs or even driving styles, language and cultural understanding affect transportation.

On a business trip, the best example is receiving or giving directions. It is a positive to be able to give succinct directions through a translator when asked. With that interaction, you can suggest some of your favourite places of interest.

When receiving directions, getting a few words wrong will come back to bite you. This is called ‘winging it’, and is not a good idea when getting directions. And in the event you get lost, asking for directions is useless when you can’t understand the language.

An interpreter can come to the rescue in this situation so that you aren’t caught off-guard.

Angry and unhappy employee

You May Insult Someone By Mistake

This qualifies as the top reason why appropriate translation is needed when on a businesses trip. Insulting someone is a lot different than being culturally insensitive, which is a big deal in its own case. Something small like the tone of your voice or even the way you phrase something can come off as harsh.

A translation is not just about the verbiage, but getting the intended meaning of the sentence across to the other person.

“Assume nothing”

There is no way to misinterpret that, right? HSBC had to spend millions to rebrand an entire campaign in 2009 based off of a misunderstanding from a bad translation. It came out as “Do nothing”, which completely contradicted months of hard work and millions of dollars in marketing.

In normal conversations with the same language, knowing intent can autocorrect misunderstandings in real time. Without that protective layer, a businessman could very well jeopardize their entire career. When there is a lot of time and money at stake, make it a point to get the translation right.

If you’re in doubt about the effectiveness of a translator, you can always read more about the benefits.

Networking Is Much Easier

When you’re in the driver’s seat in a conversation, you can direct its flow. Just because the language is different doesn’t mean that you are no longer in charge. This is a possibility with the use of translation services, with benefits in more than one way.

In a normal same language conversation, there are fewer breaks to get your point across. An unintended benefit of having your words translated is the extra time allotted to think of your next move.

There are some really clever strategies to use this to your advantage in a business setting. By watching the reactions of people’s faces as your conversation is being translated, you can adjust accordingly so that it remains in your favour.

Small talk with business partner

Wrap Up

No one expects you to know 100% of the information about the culture you’re interacting with. But at the very least, being able to communicate is expected. You are representing yourself and a company on a business trip.

Make it a point to understand the importance of language and how it affects those around you.

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